WHAT WE DO:
The Consultation Process:
All consultations are designed jointly by clients and consultant. They are time-limited and oriented towards measurable objectives. Work proceeds through conversations that may be one on one, one on two or group based. Other forms of intervention, such as facilitated meetings, staff retreats, training sessions, organizational initiatives, and individual coaching are used as needed.
Areas of Expertise:
Executive Coaching: To be successful, a manager must know his or her strengths and be able to capitalize on them. At some point every manager reaches the limit of those strengths; then one needs to develop new skills and capacities to sustain effectiveness. Or managers may need to adapt to a new situation where those strengths no longer serve. All leaders are limited to what they have known and what they can see. They need the help of a coach who can see the whole playing field and who can develop new ways of working; a coach who can read and interpret the situation, identify the important work tasks, and develop strategies and tactics that will be successful.
Leading others has more traps and difficulties. When leading others, the CEO needs particular help in assessing his/her own impact and understanding the organizational system. The CEO needs also to understand the most effective ways to use authority in that system, and to understand the inevitable reactions and demands that power and influence will generate.
Organizational Development and Assessment: Our work involves the CEO and senior team of managers in a phased, intentional organizational development process. Each phase is conceived in the context of current needs and conditions and oriented toward particular organizational objectives. At the end of each phase the work is analyzed and the next phase is designed based on the findings from the previous phase. Through this emergent design, the leadership team develops a network of strategic partnerships based on task and role clarity.
Fundraising Counsel: Philanthropy has the power to transform institutions, enhancing their mission and providing the resources for innovation. But we believe fundraising can also be a unique catalyst for institutional identity and strategic planning. Campaigns galvanize and build community, on and off campus. Planned and executed properly, campaigns challenge alumni and friends to play an active role, not only supporting, but also helping to shape the institution’s future. In this respect, fundraising may be seen as integral to nearly all of the institution’s goals and objectives. Governing boards, employees, alumni and friends expect the chief executive to be the institution’s chief fundraiser. Clarity about best practices and developing the right working relationship with development staff and volunteers is crucial to the CEO’s success.
Board Development: The difference between the work of a board of directors or trustees and the work of staff is often confusing. Thus the necessary collaboration between them is difficult. What makes this partnership work is when both groups understand their respective tasks. When boards are able to take up their high level task of leadership on fiscal and policy matters, the organization’s staff is able to lead and manage the work. This requires a fine-tuned working alliance between the board chair and the CEO that allows them to develop a concerted leadership strategy for both groups, while allowing each the necessary autonomy to lead.
Strategic Communications: Internal and external communications are critical to an institution’s identity and success. Communications planning provides a platform for consistent and effective messaging, serving institutional strategies and built on clear goals and objectives, reliable data and feedback loops. It is vital in the context of campaigns, leadership transitions, and crisis management.
Retreat Design and Facilitation: Retreats give governing boards and managers the opportunity to step outside of business routines and take a longer view of the organization -- where it is now and where it is heading -- and to reflect on their respective leadership roles. Retreats can serve a wide range of objectives. Among them:
clarify and affirm shared mission, vision and values
ensure alignment of goals and objectives across the organization
celebrate successes, analyze obstacles
formulate new strategic directions and priorities
build team-work and assess the work environment
analyze and assess the competitive landscape